Can I Take Melatonin With Antidepressants?

Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2022
Can I Take Melatonin With Antidepressants
Melatonin can increase the side effects of antidepressants or reduce their effectiveness

Taking melatonin with antidepressants could increase your risk of side effects like sleepiness and even reduce the effects of some antidepressant medications.

In an animal study, when melatonin was taken along with antidepressants, such as desipramine and Prozac (fluoxetine), it reduced their effectiveness. However, there is little research on how this affects humans. You should always consult with your doctor before combining these medications.

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a highly fat-soluble hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain to regulate sleep cycles. During the night, your body produces more melatonin, which causes you to sleep. During the day, light reduces melatonin production, causing you to stay awake longer.

Over-the-counter melatonin supplements are commonly used to treat:

What are the side effects of melatonin?

Melatonin supplements are generally safe. However, they can have a few side effects if taken for short periods:

What precautions should you take with melatonin?

Melatonin is considered safe in doses of 3 mg per day for children orally and 5 mg per day in adolescents and adults.

If you are trying to conceive, however, melatonin supplements may have the same effects as birth control pills and make pregnancy more difficult. Avoid melatonin while pregnant or trying to get pregnant.

People with bleeding disorders should avoid melatonin supplements because they can worsen the condition. Similarly, since melatonin intake can raise blood pressure, people with high blood pressure should avoid using melatonin supplements.

What are antidepressants?

Antidepressants are a class of drugs that are used to treat depression, some anxiety disorders, and chronic pain conditions. These drugs can also help manage some addictions.

Antidepressants help balance the chemicals in the brain responsible for regulating mood, concentration, and sleep. These medications often take 4-6 weeks to work effectively.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the commonly prescribed antidepressants that include:

What are the side effects of antidepressants?

Side effects of antidepressants vary from person to person and may include:

The risk of birth defects is low in women taking antidepressants during pregnancy. A few antidepressants, such as Paxil and Pexeva (paroxetine), however, are contraindicated during pregnancy. Consult your doctor to manage depression if you are pregnant or planning to conceive.

What other medications can interact with melatonin?

  • Blood pressure medications: Melatonin may decrease their effectiveness
  • Anticoagulants and antiplatelets: Melatonin decreases the blood clotting (coagulation) ability and increases the risk of bleeding
  • Diabetes medications: Melatonin can cause blood sugar levels to drop too low when taken with diabetes medications
  • Immunosuppressants: Melatonin may impact their effectiveness


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Medically Reviewed on 11/22/2022
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